Ironman North American Championship Mont-Tremblant - Triathlon

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
65F / 18C
Total Time = 14h 02m 17s
Overall Rank = 1618/
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 109/
Pre-race routine:

Warning - It's long. They always are. I use them so I can go back and remember what I did race-to-race and know what worked and what didn't.

Brad and I drove the entire way from Reston to Mont Tremblant on Thursday (leaving at 5:00 am). We stopped for lunch with the Redding's and made it to MMT to grab dinner in St. Joveit before heading to the condo with Katie and Chuck (where we were staying for the one night). After 14 hours in the car, we were happy to have arrived.

Friday morning was overcast, spitting rain and cool temperatures. Brad and I walked to the IM village for ART, registration then lunch. For the past 4 weeks or so, I have had a mix of piriformis and hip pain in the front when running. I had been going to see Dr. Hockstra for ART along with doing hip strengthening exercises and rolling/icing. I had to skip the last few of my runs or shorten them due to the pain and me being cautious about it. The ART therapist was amazing and was really happy we decided to get it done. I got a short ride in before we were able to check into our hotel (Sommet des Neiges) right at the top of the Cabriolet. We got settled in a bit, met up with the Straub's, Johnson's and Hogan's before Brad and I went for a short swim. The water felt fairly cold (temp was 67*), but was comfortable once you got moving. We hit up the athlete's dinner Friday night and met up with Barb and Sissy post dinner who made the drive from PA.

Saturday was a short run which was pain free! We got our bags together and dropped off our bikes and T1/T2 bags. The rest of Saturday was just a lot of sitting around killing time. Barb and Sissy cooked our group of 19 total an amazing Italian dinner. I popped 2 Tylenol PM and was asleep shortly after 9:00 pm.

We had been somewhat stressing over the weather since it had been cool and rainy since we arrived in MMT. Saturday evening had some pretty heavy rains which didn't put anyone's mind at ease. The good news was the weather reports showed favorable weather for race day.

IMMT was the first race where I had been working with Kim for the entire season. With the hip injury leaving some uncertainty to the run and with IM Chattanooga 6 weeks post IMMT, we decided to approach this race a little differently. The plan was to race the swim and bike (nailing the power goal) and then run/walk the run to limit the amount of recovery needed post race. I was excited to approach IMMT this way.
Event warmup:

Being that we were closer to the IM Village, it meant a 4:30 am alarm vs. 4:00 am. Was able to wake up before my alarm and was happy to have gotten 7.5 hours of sleep. And saw that it was no longer raining. Had an english muffin with almond butter and a banana for breakfast along with some coffee. Brad and I met up with the rest of the crew and rode the Cabriolet down to the village around 5:15 am.

We got body marked and I put my Garmin and bottles on my bike and pumped up my tires. We all linked up, stood in line for the port-o-potty and then put on our wetsuits. The weather was still cool and overcast, but there was no rain and we knew we'd have a good weather day. We all made the walk over to the beach, said goodbye to Craig, Brad and Tim who were in the 6:45 am wave and then made our way to the morning clothes bag drop. In between leaving the house and dropping the bags, I had a banana, 2 salt tabs, 1/2 bottle of roctane, Salted Carmel GU and a Chocolate Honey Stinger Waffle. I've started races in the past hungry and didn't want to have the same feeling.

We said goodbye to Nate and then me, Laura, Amy and Heidi fought through the mass amounts of people to get some open space on the beach and so we could get in the water. While it sucked at the time, it was very beneficial to get in and get water in my wetsuit. I am always thankful that Sisters Dickerson convince me of that.

We said our goodbyes and good lucks and I got in the front of my wave (to go off at 6:57 am).

  • 1h 05m 3s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 41s / 100 meters

I decided to wear my bra top and swim bottoms under my wetsuit so I could have a dry tri top to star the bike with (so I wasn't freezing). Also used my clear goggles since it was overcast and the orange lens goggles wouldn't stop fogging up on me during the practice swim.

The gun went off and I dolfined to get out to deep enough water to start swimming. Overall, the entire swim was fairly uneventful. It was similar to last year where I would count the buoys and wait to see what color caps I would catch. The sun peeked out for a little which caused me to breathe on my left, but my navigation was spot on and my goggles were fog free. Towards the end of the first leg, it started to feel like we were swimming against the current and had some chop. My stomach was churning a bit. I hit the first red end buoy and made the turn. I glanced at my watch at the 1/2 way point and saw it was 32:XX so I had a pretty consistent swim. I hit the next red buoy and knew I was more than halfway done. I tried to stay mentally with it on the swim and not zoning out and just settling in like I had in previous races. I saw a few other red caps in front of me that helped keep me motivated. I was still catching every color cap and passed one final red cap (my wave) just before we got out of the water. I swam til my hands touched the bottom and then stood to run to the mat.
What would you do differently?:

As always, push harder from the get go. I had a goal to be 1st in my AG for the swim and ended with 4th. I am still happy with 4th. Last year I was 7th and the top swim in my AG swam 1:00:XX.
Transition 1
  • 08m

I had no issues getting my wetsuit off of my wrists this year. Got the wetsuit stripped and started the long run to the T1 tent. I immediately saw and heard Sissy and she said I had a great swim. Ran the entire way to the tent, grabbed my bag and dumped my stuff out on the floor of the women's changing area. I had a volunteer that was great and I had her help me get my tri top on, take my food out of the ziploc bag and put it in my pocket and open the velcro of my shoes. I rolled my arm coolers on and put my gloves on as I ran out of the tent.

As I entered the bike rack area, I kinda felt like I had to pee and figured I should just stop now vs. right away on the bike. I found a port-o-potty in the far corner of the transition area which wasn't too far out of my way to my bike.

Grabbed my bike and headed to the mount line, seeing Katie along the way.
What would you do differently?:

Try to pee in the water. I usually pee in T1, but it's easier to do when there's grass vs. a plastic floor.
I always say I should hustle more. I never seem to be in a hurry to get through the transition area. I should be faster than that.
  • 7h 32m 17s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.86 mile/hr

The goal was to ride 120 watts. I started the bike and chose to wear arm coolers (just not wetting them) vs. arm warmers, figuring I would warm up on the bike. I also started with toe covers. I was kinda cold the first 1-1.5 hours of the bike, but it wasn't unbearable. There was a slight headwind on 117 and I tried to keep my watts where they needed to be. I started with 2 bottles of Roctane on the bike plus water in my aerobottle (and had 2 more bottles waiting in my SN bag). I felt like I was drinking enough and had to pee before mile 20, probably because of the cooler temps. I stopped at the port-o-potty at the turnaround (which wasn't at an aid station) and decided to pee behind it vs. waiting in line. SOOO much better after I stopped. The rest of loop 1 was uneventful. It was great seeing our group out on the course. And the tailwind heading back on 117 was fantastic! I stopped again to pee at mile 40 and then made my way on Montee Ryan and then the hilly OAB. I tried to keep my watts in check, but it's hard when the hills are so steep and you're out of gears.

I hit SN bike and saw Sissy and Barb who were on the opposite side of the road. I took the food, spare tube/C02 and the 2 new bottles, ditching the bottles I had on my bike (1 of which was still kinda full).

My stomach wasn't feeling great and I was having a side stitch which I am guessing was from too much sugar. So I backed off of the Roctane and drank water for nearly the entire 2nd lap. The sun was starting to come out and it was warming up a bit and getting windier. I continued eating every 30 minutes and took 1-2 salt tabs/hour. I got onto 117 and the headwind was pretty strong. Added with the net uphill on that section and I was kind of in a bad spot mentally. I stopped to pee at the turn around (mile 75) and then enjoyed the tailwind a bit. I had popped 2 Tylenol earlier when I could feel I was getting achy and then took 2 Excedrin later when I wasn't sure if a headache was coming on or not. Getting back to town with just the short out and back was great. I knew I didn't have much left, but was disappointed my bike time was slower than I anticipated. The hills on the last OAB were tough the 2nd time through, but I tried to just spin up them and counted down the miles til the turn around.

I took a GU about 10 minutes before ending the bike so it had some time to settle before I was running. It was around that time that it started down pouring. The wind had been swirling and the skies looked dark before, but then they opened up and it was raining steady. I took the last downhill easy and made the final turn into the bike dismount area.

What would you do differently?:

I really did try to ride the first half within my power goals, but I think I was too high the first lap. Add it to the windier 2nd loop and it meant a slower bike split than last year.

I think I would also drink more water in the beginning vs. just Roctane so I can avoid the side stitch/feeling of too much sugar.
Transition 2
  • 06m 33s

I was stiff and my lower back was achy after being on the bike for that long and battling the wind. I walked to the tent taking my helmet, arm coolers and gloves off along the way. I emptied everything from my pockets and used my helmet to hold everything.

Once in the tent, I laid down on the floor to stretch my cracked and felt amazing. Surprisingly, the volunteers said they couldn't touch our gear (unlike the morning) so I was on my own. I changed into tri shorts, loaded my pockets and was off. I had my Garmin strap in my T2 bag and remembered to grab my Garmin at the end of the bike so I'd have it for the run.
What would you do differently?:

As always, hustle.
  • 5h 10m 24s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 51s  min/mile

The plan was to run the first 3 miles and then switch to a run/walk combo. In the past, I have had success with 8' running / 2' walking. With the uncertainty of my hip and with IM Chattanooga in 6 weeks, I wanted less running than that so settled on 6'/2'. I started the run and saw Nate and his crew who said Craig was shortly ahead of me. I then stopped and chatted with Barb and Sissy for a minute. There are rolling hills the first 3 miles of this course so I would run the flats and downhills and walk the uphills. I hit the trail and started with a walk segment to eat and let it settle. From there, I was able to consistently stick to the 6/2 combo. I had the plan to eat every 3 miles (GU or Chomps). I saw Brad heading back to finish his race and it was great to see him out there. I then saw Tim not far behind him. After I made the turn around, I saw Craig heading to the turn around and we confirmed I must have passed him in a port-o-potty. Laura passed us looking strong, despite battling GI issues.
I made my one stop in the port-o-potty on the run as Laura passed me and we exchanged "good lucks" as she ran by. The skies once again opened up and it down poured. It actually felt refreshing and was great for keeping cool. My feet had felt hot earlier like I could have ended the day with blisters (gotta body glide them in Noog), but the rain made them feel better.

I made it back to town and saw Brad, Sissy and Barb right near special needs and then again as I started my second loop. I really love the run course in MMT and don't mind running right by the finish. The section in the village is fun and packed with people. I saw Katie here and she gave me an ass smack for good luck.

I headed back out of town with the same strategy as the first loop. I also had to goal of getting off of the paved trail before dark. Sometime on the first loop, I was having a hard time chewing the Chomps...after a day of race food, my body and mind weren't interested in it anymore. I was able to get GUs down and would have been 1 short so I supplemented with pretzels, coke, Perform and oranges to get the calories. Something to keep in mind for Chattanooga.

It was great seeing friends out on the course....I was happy to get to see Brad, Tim, Laura and Heidi once before they finished and Craig and Amy seemed to be happy and running strong.

The final stretch I abandoned the run/walk intervals. I made the turn through SN and had a huge smile on my face all the way to the finish. I ran through the village enjoying the last stretch of a great day. I was happy to turn left at the split to head to the finish line. I was able to spot Brad, Sissy and Barb in the stands and gave them a wave before crossing the IM finish line for the 11th time.
What would you do differently?:

There's nothing I would have done differently for the run. Maybe carry more GU instead of Chomps.
I went into the run portion with a plan and overall, stuck to it. I honestly kept waiting for my hip to hurt. I got an hour in which is where I started to feel it the last few runs at the track. No pain. I got to mile 13 which is where I felt it initially on the run at the beach. No pain. I wasn't sure what day my hip would bring me and was so happy with the run. On top of being pain free with my hip, I was mentally so happy on the run. I didn't have any dark or low moments. It was really an overall great run!
Post race
Warm down:

I found Brad, Sissy, Barb and Nate before heading to sign up for a massage.
The wait was long and it was kind of a process, but I felt a lot better once I changed after Brad was able to get my morning clothes bag.

Post massage, I got some Poutine from the truck at the finish line and then headed to the hotel to shower and eat before going back to the finish for the last hour.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Another IM in 6 weeks and the hip injury/uncertainty.
It's a great feeling to finish an IM knowing I did a pretty good job racing the plan, not going all out and hopefully limiting the recovery.

Event comments:

IMMT is a great race. The venue is one of my favorites. We stayed in a perfect location and had a great group of friends and family to share in the experience.

Last updated: 2014-06-09 12:00 AM
01:05:03 | 3862 meters | 01m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/
Overall: 235/
Performance: Good
Suit: full sleeved wetsuit
Course: 1 rectangular loop exiting the water on the other side of the small island.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:32:17 | 112 miles | 14.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 73/
Overall: 1729/
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: 2 loops heading out Montee Ryan, 117, into St. Joveit and then on Chemain Duplessis (the toughest of the hills)
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:33
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:10:24 | 26.2 miles | 11m 51s  min/mile
Age Group: 67/
Overall: 1620/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loop course heading out of town with rolling hills before hitting La Petit Train du Nord (which is now a paved trail).
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5